Tuesday, 11 November 2008

How Many More Baby P's?

It's late but while I've been working away on my laptop tonight, I've seen snippets of BBC News, Sky News and Newsnight. All were leading on the tragic tale of Baby P, a 17 month old boy murdered by his parents after enduring a short life of merciless torture.

This poor little mite had been on the Child Protection Register for around half his tormented life but was let down time and time again by supposedly trained professionals.

By far the worst instance seems to have been the GP who, 2 days before Baby P's death, did not detect that he was suffering from fractured ribs and a broken back. How is that even imaginable never mind possible?

His mother was given the benefit of the doubt time and time again despite being arrested twice for neglect. Over and over, Social Workers failed to spot injuries, apparently, in once case, because Baby P had been smeared with chocolate.

I am so angry about this. What is the point of having all these highly paid professionals if they can't protect these most vulnerable of people? Why is nobody losing their job over this? Shouldn't that GP be summarily struck off?

My suspicion is that these professionals are prevented from acting on instinct because of a combination of political correctness and fear of reprisals, formal or otherwise. They find themselves protecting themselves rather than their clients because the rights of offenders seem to be more important than the rights of victims in many cases.

Our criminal justice and social services systems are failing the very people they have been put in place to serve. It's time for a radical rethink - for the sake of all the Baby P's out there.

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